Fernando Cevallos is founder & CEO of F&C Consulting Group, a global firm with the vision of elevating integrity to benefit society and organizations.
He leads teams and projects as a forensics investigation and compliance advisor for Fortune 500 companies and multinationals, transnationals, and SMEs. He is also an international professor and founder of the Ethics and Compliance for International Corporations Program at Tecnológico de Monterrey.
He is currently president of the Mexican Association of Professionals in Ethics and Compliance.
WHAT OPPORTUNITIES DID YOU IDENTIFY IN THE MARKET THAT MOTIVATED YOU TO START THIS CONSULTING FIRM?
F&C Consulting Group started with a global vision to elevate the culture of people to transform the business world. That requires a great deal of effort, teamwork, and conviction to do it the right way.
The top management of companies and the government must also be convinced that fairness and integrity can truly transform their reputation and bring them into the next era of integrity. Talking about compliance and investigations is our passion. We want to make sure we leave a global legacy and ensure this firm, which was established in Latin America, is a global firm.
This does not require hundreds of people but a few who can see the value of adding and transforming the business world. If you believe in it, anything is possible.
How important is it to diversify and maintain compliance?
The group currently operates in eight territories:
- The US.
- And Europe.
Our offices and partners around the world have several concerns about how companies do business overseas. For example, we have a client from Brazil that wants to export products to Mexico and the US, but does not have a compliance program. It must implement one to ensure it has a competitive advantage and reduce the risks of doing business with the company since it follows the local regulations.
This will be a requirement, and it needs a commitment from top management and a risk evaluation.
From an insurance and compliance perspective, you need to know how you will do business, who your vendors will be, and that the right protocols will be in place. This all comes from a risk assessment that ensures a company not only protects its brand, products, and assets but also its reputation.
WHAT STRATEGIES DO YOU USE TO ENTER NEW MARKETS?
We enter those markets based on companies’ needs, the regulations, what the companies are seeking to invest in, and where they are seeking to invest. Companies are eager to export their goods and services and work with the best partner, not only from a pricing and product perspective but also a risk-reputation one. Price and quality will always be a key driver, though in the new integrity era reputation is also important. Companies must put in place the due diligence and a solid protocol to oversee what others are doing on their behalf or when they transact with the company.
They need to make sure they are compliant with the local international regulations and best practices.
Another example and great project that I coordinated globally was the ISO37001 communication task committee, an anti-bribery management system that would apply to all types of organizations, from SMEs to multinationals. We want to make sure everyone speaks the same anti-bribery language.
When a company or public institution adopts this standard, with the appropriate scope and commitment from top management, it ensures we have the right controls in place to mitigate and identify bribery risks then investigate the issues.
What will be your main goals for 2021?
We want to make sure people truly have the right approach when doing business within Mexico and globally, which is why we have opened offices around the world. We want to consolidate our offices and continue working with our clients around the world to make sure they have covered all the main critical issues regarding compliance.